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Installation of threaded neck bold inserts

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Rodent, Sep 7, 2005.


  1. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    Just completed my second neck in two days, and thought I'd share the process I'm currently using. I won't go into how I determined the locations for the inserts, as it matches the same process you'd use if using wood screws instead.

    Once I have the locations determined, it's time to head out to the ShopSmith for a little action. I am utilizing the horizontal boring capbility for all of this activity, so rest assured that the images do not need rotation.

    In the first image, I have lined-up the hole location, and clamped the neck. I have also set the bore depth, but I have the drill bit marked with blue tape as a reference just in case.

    [​IMG]

    After the hole is properly bored, it's time to switch out the drill bit for a phillips head bit. Take note that I do not unclamp the neck at this point - everything must remain aligned! After the bit is locked in, I thread a phillips screw into the insert and add it to the end of the bit before bringing it into contact with the neck.

    [​IMG]

    After I have contact and double check that everything is going in straight, I keep gentle pressure on the bore while slowly turning the insert into the neck. SLOW and steady is the key to a successful install. It's also a good idea to use the screw as your tunring point vs the slotted ears on the insert. This will keep you from breaking off one of the ears and finding yourself in a real jam.

    [​IMG]

    I continue to thread the insert into the neck until the screw is snugly flush with the neck. I'm thinking that I may utilize a small washer on my next install so I can set the insert just a smidge deeper than flush.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Now it's time to back the bore away and remove the screw from the insert. Three more to go and this neck is ready for installation on the bass.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the insert completely installed. I'll update this with a better image from my next neck, as this is a little blurry. Still, you get the idea.

    All the best, and may all your threaded neck inserts be crack free!

    R
     
  2. Rod, that's an interesting take on the usual method. I'm concerned about your use of the phillips driver point though. The narrow location of the center point allows for some wobble in that arrangement. What I might suggest is to use a hex bolt of the same thread and a nut with and oversized washer tightened between them. Thread the bolt into the top of the insert until snug then use a nut driver bit to spin it in. The oversize washer provides a rest for the edge of the nut driver bit and give you an even force all around the insert while the hex head gives a positive drive to drill the insert in. This homemade tool more closely replicate the "real" insert tool sold by the manufacturer.
     
  3. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    Thanks for the tips Hambone! I was initially comfortable with this due to the depth of the Phillips, but you are right to suggest that the hex head screw driven with a socket attachment would be better suited.

    Another trip down to the hardware store it shall be! :hyper:

    All the best,

    R
     
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Mentally filed away. Thanks both.
     
  5. Jarno

    Jarno

    Jan 27, 2005
    I was going to suggest the use of a pillar drill, then I noticed you're using a lathe. Evidently that works great as well.
    I have tried to get those MF's in using a hand drill, that only led to a lot of cursing. The material I was trying to get them into was MDF. I guess that's "hack-job^2".
    What will you be using to fasten the neck to the body? Countersunk screws?

    Regards,

    Jarno.
     
  6. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    Not the same source I've obtained my parts from, but a clear picture of what screws I'm using:

    http://www.mcmaster.com/
    Part No. = 91802A252


    All the best,

    R
     
  7. Swever

    Swever

    Nov 13, 2008
    Joensuu, Finland
    Any chance to restore the pics?
     
  8. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    hi Swever,

    I'm in process of building a new website and have been moving images around to accommodate those activities. If I can edit my old thread (above), these should show up again in the coming couple of days.

    all the best,

    R
     
  9. Swever

    Swever

    Nov 13, 2008
    Joensuu, Finland
    Would be great! Thanx.
     
  10. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    thanks to Basschair for modding the image links!

    I also see that I clearly need to update this thread with better images and my slightly modified process

    all the best,

    R
     
  11. One thing about threaded inserts that has caught my attention - this was mentioned on another forum, and I'm starting to wonder about it, but have not yet had a chance to try it.

    Most folks (me included) look at the slotted end of the insert and assume that you use it with a flathead screwdriver to screw it in.

    Someone on another forum said "no, that's not what the slot is for, you have the insert going in upside down". His take was that, in hard woods, you want the outer threads to actually tap the wood, so the slot goes into the hole first, and the sharp corners of the outer threads (where they intersect the slot) will cut a thread into the surrounding wood.

    His claim was that if you put the insert in upside down, the outer threads will only burnish and compress the wood instead of cutting an actual tapped thread (which still probably holds just fine).
     
  12. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Sounds like an interesting argument, but if you're talking about an insert where the outer fins continue all the way to what is conventionally called the top, and there is then a slot run full across so that it breaks one fin/outer thread on one side and maybe a partial thread/fin on the other, I doubt thread cutting is the reason. That would properly call for a tapered thread, and several crossings of the slot/gap with the thread. Like on a thread-cutting self-tapping screw.

    The slot is for driving with a screwdriver, or far preferably, with the proper driving tool. This tool has an end that looks like a stepped shaft with two square nubs sitting on the step. The smaller diameter tip fits pretty closely inside the inner thread for alignment; the step flank presses the top of the insert, for downforce and additional alignment; and the nubs engage the slots and provide the driving torque.

    You can buy the tool or you can make a usable tool by turning down an appropriately sized rod to make the stepped tip; then drilling a cross-hole just above the step, and inserting a small pin, roll pin, or hardened wire.
     
  13. I've never seen the driver for these inserts - I think you're right PJ.

    FWIW I've also use a short bit of threaded rod, lock it down with a nut, and use a nut driver.
     
  14. Greenman

    Greenman

    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    I've done similar with threaded rod and a stand off mounted in the drill press.